Chapter 93: Li Wei's Treat
Translator: TYZ Editor: Pranav
Ai Hui looked attentively towards Li Wei as he found him somewhat familiar.
"I'm Li Wei, an instructor of the Society of Excellence. I'm also Mingxiu's friend. I'm the one who carried you and Duanmu Huanghun back from the Suspending Golden Pagoda." The veteran Li Wei introduced himself to Ai Hui.
"Brother Li Wei! Thank you very much, Brother Li Wei!" Ai Hui felt embarrassed and quickly thanked him.
"You haven't eaten anything yet, right? Let's go and eat now; we will talk over the meal." Li Wei appeared to be extremely amicable.
The moment Ai Hui heard that there was going to be food, his eyes lit up, and he immediately agreed to Li Wei's invitation.
When Ai Hui learned that Li Wei was the one who had written the strategy to tackle the Suspending Golden Pagoda, his respect for him grew significantly. And after he heard that Brother Li Wei was going to treat him to a meal, he quickly brought Li Wei to the noodle house. He decided to order a few extra bowls of noodles later to show his respect for Li Wei.
"The Society of Excellence?"
Li Wei was surprised when Ai Hui shook his head and rejected his invitation. "Brother Li Wei, I really have no time. Until now, I haven't even completed the training assignments that the teachers in school have given me."
Deep down, Li Wei was disappointed. However, he could tell that Ai Hui was not lying. Fatigue was written all over Ai Hui's face; he looked extremely tired.
"When's the last time you had a rest?" Li Wei asked with great concern, "It's important to pace your training. Don't be too impatient. You're still young and there's plenty of time."
Li Wei was someone who valued and cared for talents. And in his eyes, Ai Hui was a prodigy.
"Compared to other students, I'm quite old." Ai Hui shook his head.
Li Wei oohed. Yes, Ai Hui was not young anymore. It was only now that he realized that he had only noticed Ai Hui's talents and not his age. Compared to other students, it was indeed quite late.
Those exceptional prodigies were all able to graduate from the Induction Ground at the mere age of sixteen. However, at this age, Ai Hui had barely started training. Li Wei felt great pity for him. Yet such situations were common occurrences in both the Old Territory and the Avalon of Five Elements.
By the time many people discovered that they were gifted, they had already missed their best window of time to train.
"Even though you started off late, I still believe you can do it!" Li Wei sincerely encouraged Ai Wei. He could sense Ai Hui's impatience.
"Thank you, Brother Li Wei!" Ai Hui was touched by Li Wei's words. He felt that he should do something to reciprocate Brother Li Wei's concern for him, so he turned around and yelled to the boss, "Boss, give me one more bowl of noodles! No, two more!"
Li Wei did not expect to succeed on his first try. He merely wanted to leave an impression on Ai Hui and try again in the future. There was no need for him to be impatient. And after the short interaction with Ai Hui, he felt that the trip he made today was not in vain and was rather rewarding.
Ai Hui left a deep impression on him.
He was a reserved person with a determined gaze and a maturity that far surpassed his age. From their conversation, Li Wei could sense the determination and willpower of the young man seated in front of him.
Whenever Ai Hui was unsure of something, he would ask a lot of questions. Some questions even left Li Wei in a daze.
Were the youngsters nowadays really that hard to deal with? When he himself was at such an age, he was as innocent and stupid as a pig.
Prudence, foresight, and determination.
Li Wei sighed in his heart once more. He was becoming increasingly convinced that Ai Hui was a legitimate prodigy. Even though he started off late, Li Wei still believed that he could overcome such an obstacle.
It was both simple and difficult to convince this kind of person. The difficult part was that they would not be easily persuaded by flowery words, and the easy part was that they would agree to anything without a second of hesitation if they found it to be beneficial to themselves.
And it was also because of this that Li Wei was so confident that he could persuade Ai Hui. Although the Infantry Division was not as popular as other divisions, it was very suitable for Ai Hui's character and physical traits. He believed that Ai Hui could see this as well.
Right now, he decided to just become friends with Ai Hui. There would be plenty of time and chances in the future. Teacher Wang may be knowledgeable, but his knowledge of body tempering and combat techniques paled in comparison with that of the Infantry Division.
For some reasons, Li Wei could sense an aura from Ai Hui that was similar to his.
Li Wei was a veteran. He knew that his intuition was not baseless. However, at the same time, his mind was filled with doubts. It was rather incredible to see such traits in a sixteen-year-old boy.
Even those prodigies that graduated from the Induction Ground at this age reeked of rookie's aura, which could be sensed from two kilometers away.
In the front line, even if a rookie were a prodigy, they would be considered as one of the most undesirable people to be around.
The most undesirable group of people, however, were those rookie commanders.
When the younger generations from those aristocratic families entered the front line, they seldom worked their way up from being a soldier.
Li Wei had no prejudice against the younger generations of those influential, aristocratic families. In fact, he had seen many outstanding youths come from aristocratic families; however, he bitterly detested rookie commanders.
"Have you ever stayed in the Wilderness before?" Li Wei asked curiously.
Ai Hui, who was busy eating the food, stopped and raised his head. With his mouth stuffed with noodles, he replied unintelligibly, "Yes, I stayed there for three years. I used to be a laborer."
When he heard Ai Hui's response, Li Wei became thoroughly dumbfounded, and he only returned to his senses after a few seconds. With an incredulous look on his face, he asked again, "Are you saying that you used to be a laborer? And that you stayed in the Wilderness for three years?"
"That's right," Ai Hui nodded as he kept stuffing his mouth with noodles.
Li Wei was shocked by this information.
Of course he knew what a laborer was.
In the Wilderness, there was a unique group of people that were collectively called laborers. These laborers were hired from the Old Territory, and most of them were desperate, pitiful souls. Laborers had almost zero fighting capabilities and were the fastest and earliest group of people to be eliminated and killed in the Wilderness.
When Li Wei first learned about laborers, he did not understand why they were hired. From his perspective, laborers were frail and had low stamina. They were also mentally weak and were easily killed. But after staying in the Wilderness for some time, he had finally understood the reason.
The Avalon of Five Elements' current training system was developed from and based on dire beasts. Elementalists were much more sensitive toward elemental energy fluctuations in dire beasts, and vice versa.
If a detachment had too many powerful elementalists, it would only result in two possibilities. The first was that they would scare away the dire beasts. The second was that they would encourage the dire beasts to gang up against them.
A division like the Infantry Division did not enter the Wilderness to hunt the dire beasts, and hence, they would not have such worries.
However, for those who entered the Wilderness to hunt for the dire beasts, these two results were not something they wanted to encounter.
Hence, recruiting laborers was their best option. But compared to the benefits of hunting the dire beasts, the compensations for the laborers were worth nothing.
Laborer recruitment had a long history that could be dated back to seven hundred years ago.
Ever since the concept of recruiting laborers had been initiated, there had been huge debates over it. As such, there was a strict regulation on the compensation payments for laborers. However, the number of "new citizens" in the Avalon of Five Elements was getting increasingly larger, and their objections for laborer recruitment were getting louder and louder.
The so-called "new citizens" referred to the people who had migrated from the Old Territory to the Avalon of Five Elements after the latter had been established. They had deep sentiments towards the Old Territory, and the higher-ups held their voices in high regard. Many signs also indicated that the abolishment of laborer recruitment was near.
Li Wei had never expected the youth who was heartily eating the noodles in front of him to be a laborer!